More than 100 sculptures on slave trade to be unveiled across seven UK cities

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More than 100 artists will unveil globe sculptures across cities across the UK next month, highlighting “the reality and impact of the transatlantic trade in enslaved Africans”.

The globes will go on show in seven locations—Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool City Region, London, and Swansea (13 August-31 October)—as part of a project organised by “The World Reimagined” education organisation, which claims that the initiative “will be one of the largest art education projects for racial justice the UK has seen”.

There will be 103 globe sculptures on show across the seven cities, with ten globes on show at each “art trail” highlighting nine different themes such as “The reality of being enslaved” and “Abolition & Emancipation”. The tenth globe will be designed by an artist in collaboration with community groups.

The British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare designed the form of the globe sculpture, which will be adapted by more than 100 participating artists including Lakwena Maciver, Nicola Green, Kimathi Donkor, Godfried Donkor, Fiona Compton, Larry Amponsah, and Vashti Harrison.

“I particularly hope that these globe trails will be seen by younger people across the country—the younger eye is a lot more open,” says the Turner prizewinning artist Chris Ofili, who was one of the jury members judging the open-call selection. “By gaining a better understanding of the true history of the Black world, our younger generations will be better equipped to create a shared future that is more equitable and open-ended.”

The World Reimagined, a registered charity, is described online “as a ground-breaking, national art education project” and was established in 2020. The official partners for the organisation include Sky Group, the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council England.

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